Those of us who aren't holding candlelight vigils until someone decides to actually go through with hiring Rob Ryan for their coaching staff are in need of a way to kill time until the offseason officially starts for everyone on Sunday night.
That makes it a good time to take a look at the list of impending free agents on the Cowboys roster. There are a slew of them, although we'll only go into detail on a few of them. Guys like Charlie Peprah, Derrick Dockery and Eric Frampton are roster filler, which means the decisions made about them aren't going to matter enough for anyone to worry about. If someone's not talked about below, that's why.
So our focus will be on guys who played more of a crucial role on the team and would presumably continue to do so if they return.
Anthony Spencer: This is the toughest call on the list and, quite honestly, the only really tough call of all. Moving to the 4-3 defense would probably mean playing Spencer at defensive end and that seems a waste of his versatile package of skills. He did do it in college, though, and Monte Kiffin's a good coach because he finds ways to use talented players. His 2012 season was fun to watch, which leads the heart to say stay while the gut says Spencer's moving on down the road.
Phil Costa: The good news is that injuries have kept his price from rising. The bad news is that injuries have also gotten in the way of knowing if he's any good or not. Costa's restricted, so the real question is the level of a tender but it's hard to imagine anyone giving up a draft pick anywhere near the top of the draft for him. And it's not like they have a better choice at center anyway.
Mike Jenkins: A fairly overdue goodbye to a player whose flashes of talent seem long enough ago to have occured on black and white film. Jenkins is unlikely to be missed.
Victor Butler: He's had spurts of pass rushing ability that make you want to see more. If the Cowboys were sticking with the 3-4, he'd be part of the reason to let Spencer walk. Now, though, he's without a position and the Cowboys need players who fit.
Kenyon Coleman: Coleman's a prototypical 3-4 defensive end and the Cowboys are running the 4-3 defense. This must have been how the Pony Express felt when trains arrived.
Ernie Sims: Teeters on the roster filler level, but he did some nice things after coming in off the street in the middle of the season. He'd come cheaper than Dan Connor, who will likely be cut, and that matters for a player who would be competing for a starting job at best.
Kevin Ogletree: Dwayne Harris has much more going for him and the Cowboys figure to address the position elsewhere. A nice story will have to continue elsewhere.
Danny McCray: Was totally overmatched as a starting safety. Nice special teamer, but so are a lot of guys who might not be overmatched in their other role.
L.P. Ladouceur: Long snapping is an art one only notices when something goes wrong and there wasn't any real trouble on that front this season. No reason for him not to return, although new special teams coaches sometimes make changes.
Felix Jones: Oh, were you still here? Seriously, though, Jones is done and if Spencer and Jenkins also hightail it that will make three first rounders to depart in one offseason. The fact that only one will be missed says something about Double J's drafting of late.